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Braid Beards Gang
WGA Member

Joined: 2009-07-28
Posts: 5120
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:00 am Reply with quote Back to top

At the last WGA event I attended at Pike Lake State Park, it appeared that there were a number of circles of closed discussions (Some people in these discussions should be aware of the ears around them, given some of the conversations). I understand in a group of any size that cliques will form. However, I found it a bit troubling that the newer faces seemed to be literally on the outside looking into the activities.

What will you do if elected to try to make the WGA more welcoming and inclusive?
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WGA Member

Joined: 2008-04-12
Posts: 1928
Location: The Grassy Knoll, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 2:38 pm Reply with quote Back to top

The only thing to do, I suppose, is to lead by example. Heck, I'll talk to anyone.

It's been my experience that to help with that issue is just to bring the outsiders into the circle (not necessarily the middle). On the forums we're pretty good because there's no face-to-face communication, but in person there's a shyness factor.

"Clique-iness" doesn't necessarily happen because we don't like someone, a lot of the time it starts because "these are the people we know the best so that's who we talk to" After a while you don't notice other people inside the same group as much because "Why would you?" This type of behavior is easy to handle just by being aware that it occurs.

If a group is being intentionally "members only" and restrictive, then we might have to have a "chat" about public etiquette.

For the most part, being aware that it happens/has happened/will happen is the best defence. Being reminded of the possibility also helps. Just by bringing this question to the Candidates Corner has probably helped out quite a bit for the next couple of events.

Boy was I rambling....hope this made sense....

There is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later.

What\'s life? Life\'s easy. A quirk of matter. Nature\'s way of keeping meat fresh 
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WGA Board Member
WGA Board Member

Joined: 2005-01-17
Posts: 2558
Location: Mountain, WI

PostPosted: Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:45 pm Reply with quote Back to top

At the events, I usually get to meet most of the new cachers, I usually have my laptop ready to load the local caches from GSAK to anyones GPS that needs it. Most of the seasoned cachers are ready to go, but the newer cachers that are still loading by hand get a big help. I have also helped others with GSAK questions. at Pike Lake we helped members get their new TB's logged and loaded for the race. This is a good way for me to meet the new cachers that might feel like they are on the outside of the circle.

The post above is purely the opinion of the poster and is no way connected to the opinions of the WGA Board.

Looking for a pathtag idea check out Freak Designs 
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WGA Treasurer
WGA Treasurer

Joined: 2004-04-12
Posts: 3265
Location: Waukesha/ Greenfield/ Milwaukee

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:55 pm Reply with quote Back to top

Thanks for the question Braid Beards Gang

At WGA events, I have had the role of checking people in or selling shirts or collecting money for the chili .. that at some point, I ended up talking to most everyone attending.

From leading the various Geo 101 classes, it has opened doors where a new geocacher will the come up to me at a later event and say " I remember you" .. so it has given them the connection.

All it takes is anyone walking up and talking .. and I have asked friends I know to make a point to "hey can you go over" because I am doing something else at the time .. just to check in on people.

Finding Flow in Nature - Earthcaches Rock!Disclaimer: This post and the contents of any links or images attached is the opinion of this poster and not that of the WGA or it\'s Board of Directors. 
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WGA President
WGA President

Joined: 2009-05-06
Posts: 2822
Location: Neenah

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:23 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I remember my first geoevent (2009 Spring Campout at High Cliff). Eventhough I was surrounded by other cachers, I had a hard time going up to anyone and starting up a converstion.
Remembering that feeling of what it felt like to not be a part of the larger group helps me to look around for people that a little uncomfotable or out of place.

I'm for the idea that the "seasoned" cachers try and take along new cachers to help introduce them to our larger group and give them up a few pointers to put them at ease. This doesn't have to be an offical event...just be open and friendly.

No one should feel like they aren't a part of this big ol' caching family.

At one time or another we were all standing on the outside looking in.

Signals from space make me wander in circles

The posts and opinions shared here are solely that of the individual and do not reflect the beliefs of the WGA Board of Directors. 
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WGA Secretary
WGA Secretary

Joined: 2010-09-22
Posts: 3912
Location: Waukesha

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:06 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I know what you're talking about. I haven't been geocaching that long, just shy of 3 years, so it wasn't that long ago that I was the newbie looking around and hoping someone would talk to me. I suppose it helps that I'm a friendly person and talk a lot but I do usually spend quite a lot of time talking to people both new to me and cachers who have gotten to be very good friends in the last few years. At the last WGA picnic I sat at the registration table so I pretty much talked to everyone. I had such a blast doing that job! You can pretty much count on me to do that job (unless someone else wants a turn!) at any WGA event in the future because I had so much fun doing it.

On a somewhat related note, you have no idea how much it means to me that geocachers have not only talked to me but my family at events. Her whole life my daughter has been so shy it is almost debilitating. For whatever reason she has come out of her shell somewhat at geocaching events or during group caching and actually speaks to people that she hardly knows. That is such a huge step for her, you can't imagine! I think that, like me, she has found a group of people that she can relate to. This really means so much to me and I appreciate the friendliness of the geocachers that have helped her feel more comfortable around people at social events. Thank you!

Not all who wander are lost, some are geocaching.

Disclaimer: This post and the contents of any links or images attached is the opinion of this poster and not that of the WGA or its Board of Directors. 
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